Delta State government yesterday said it had deleted bio-data of more than 5,000 persons from the salary payroll of civil servants in the state over fraudulent practices. Those affected, according to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, were those who falsified their credentials and were due for retirement, workers who were no longer productive, but had continued to receive salaries and those that had absconded.
He lamented that his boss had grappled with more than 60,000 workers on the payroll of the state for two years before a consultant was paid to capture the workers through a verification exercise. Aniagwu, during his quarterly visit to the secretariat of the Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of journalists (NUJ) in Asaba yesterday, said the consultant had detected over 5,000 ghost workers and reduced the payroll to about 55,000.
He added that the 60,000 persons on the payroll, which include workers of the state-owned universities, polytechnics, Schools of Marine, Nursing and Health Technologies and Technical Schools, would have over-bloated the numbers of civil servants in the state if the governor had not stopped the irregular employment carried out at the twilight of former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration.